President okays funds for Baguio integrated command center

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BAGUIO CITY – The city government is awaiting the release of the P200 million reportedly promised by President Rodrigo R. Duterte for the establishment of the city’s integrated command center that will use artificial intelligence in consolidating the efforts on traffic management, disaster response and peace and order.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said the city government is hopeful the funds will be made available by the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) before the end of this year for the city to start the works for the setting up of the command center.

He added the integrated command center will be based in the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) building, one of the most suitable areas for the facility as identified by experts.

Earlier, President Duterte reportedly promised to fund the establishment of the city’s command center when he visited the city last May for the graduation at the Philippine Military Academy.

The city government purchased some 65 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to start-off the operationalisation of the command center for traffic, and some peace and order concerns, but the present administration decided to upgrade the same to synchronize efforts of the city on disaster risk reduction, traffic management and peace order to maximize the utilization of artificial intelligence on the said priority aspects of safety and security.

According to him, the city government’s technical working group is now preparing the terms of reference for the establishment of the integrated command center so that as soon as the funds for the project will be released, the same will be subjected to open and competitive bidding for a provider of the sophisticated units of equipment of the said center.

Among the present administration’s 15-point collective agenda in relation to the proposed establishment of the integrated command center include better traffic conditions along the city’s main roads, enhanced peace and order efforts and effective disaster risk reduction and management that will help in sparing the residents and tourists alike from being exposed to safety and security issues.

The city chief executive disclosed the funds for this integrated command center will be charged to the existing appropriations of the Office of the President so that the same will be released to allow the project to be implemented anytime.

Some officials and personnel of the local government were sent to China the previous week to see for themselves the existence of an integrated command center worthy of emulation to guide them in the preparation of the conceptual development plan for the said project that will be replicated in the city.

The city’s CCTV project will be consolidated with the proposed integrated command center staffed by competent personnel in charge of the said facility.

By Dexter A. See

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